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LIJ Valley Stream receives dual accolades for hernia and robotic surgery

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LIJ Valley Stream has been named a Center of Excellence, receiving dual accreditation in both the fields of hernia and robotic surgery from the Surgical Review Corporation, a non-profit patient safety organization.

LIJ is the only hospital on the South Shore to receive the accolades in both fields, which signify, “the departments’ commitment to providing the highest level of care and patient safety,” according to the organization.

Dr. Gainosuke Sugiyama, director of surgery at the hospital credited his team of surgeons for their dedication to safety and reducing hospital stay times to meet the strict criteria required for the accreditation. In addition to recognizing his department, the Surgical Review Corporation named Sugiyama a Surgeon of Excellence in both hernia and robotic surgery.

“We consider ourselves experts,” he said. “We do a great job taking care of patients so we thought, why don’t we take it to the next level and have an independent body look at us.”

Sugiyama has a long history in robotic surgery, and has been training surgeons in the use of the DaVinci series of surgical robots since 2013. In 2019 LIJ received the latest model of DaVinci robots: the Xi, which was affectionately nicknamed “Rosie” after the robotic maid character in the “Jetsons” cartoon television show. Surgeons touted the $2.4 million machine’s versatility and ease of setup.

In particular, Sugiyama named staffer Dr. Douglas Held as a premier expert in the field of hernia and other minimally invasive surgeries. “Both he and I have been doing a lot of hernia care,” over the years, he said. The Corporation also named Held as a Surgeon of Excellence in hernia surgery.

Sugiyama said the recognition is the latest example in the ways Northwell Health — the largest health network in New York — has been leveraging its resources to bring high quality care to the hospital in a number of different medical fields, noting its opening of a dedicated orthopedic unit at the hospital in 2019.

“It’s a message to the community,” he said, “That we’re here and we’re going to provide top-of-the-line care to all patients that come here, regardless of their need.”

-Melissa Koenig contributed to this story.